International flavour for Scroz development funding

22 July, 2014 by Don Groves

Screen Australia today announced nearly $535,000 in development funding for 18 features including projects set in Canada, inner-city Berlin, Mexico City, Vietnam, the Middle East and medieval England.

The genres range from family and musical to comedy, drama, thriller, sci-fi and action. The funding will support eight new projects as well as further assistance for 10 titles.


Through its Talent Escalator programs, the agency is placing three producers in professional posts to improve their direct industry experience and supporting short film director Nicholas Verso in the next stage of his professional development.

Screen Australia’s Head of Production Sally Caplan said, “In this round it is encouraging to see such a great range of Australian stories receive support from filmmakers at different levels, some with international creative partners and several with international focus.

"We are also pleased to be able to support emerging local talent with international placements that will increase our industry’s experience in the marketplace and further reinforce the great reputation of Australian talent on a global stage.”

B Model is a comedy drama from writer/producer/director Rachel Griffiths and producer Louise Smith, now to be developed as an official Australia/UK co-production with British producer Kevin Loader (In the Loop, Hyde Park on Hudson, Le Week-End).

Berlin Syndrome is a thriller about an Australian photojournalist who embarks on a passionate holiday romance that turns into an obsessive relationship and wakes one morning trapped in an apartment in Berlin. The script is by Shaun Grant, produced by Polly Staniford and will be directed by Cate Shortland.

Written by Sofya Gollan, produced by Melanie Coombs, Mish Armstrong and Alicia Brown, The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek is a family film about a Bunyip on a journey to find out who he is, what he is and how he came to be.

From writer/producer Lisa Hoppe, producer Julie Ryan and director Martha Goddard comes The Enamorados, a comedy drama about a conservative couple, married for 40 years, who struggle to renegotiate the terms of their love in Mexico.

Writer/producer/director Serhat Caradee and producers Tim Maddocks and Liz Burton are developing My Country, a drama about a group of Middle Eastern men who kidnap the daughter of a wealthy family, intent on using her as a bargaining tool in a global political game. "We plan to shoot in Sydney and either Jordan or Turkey," Maddocks tells IF.

Writer Andy Cox, producers Todd Fellman and Lance Kelleher and director Kim Mordaunt will be supported for Vietnam-set biopic One Crowded Hour.

In Putney Grail, four 14th century knights are resurrected in the present day to protect the Holy Grail from international criminals led by a medieval enchantress. The action/adventure is written and produced by Michael Harvey and produced by David Taft.

Seasons Pass is a comedy from writer Heath Davis and producer Matthew Dabner about a carefree party-going Australian ski-instructor who arrives in Canada to start a new ski season, only to be confronted by a son he never knew he had.

 Emo (The Musical) comes from director-writer Neil Triffett and producer Lee Matthews. Based on Triffett's short film, it's about an Emo kid who hates almost everything until he falls for a devout Christian school girl with a passion for life and religion.

The End of Everything centres on the disappearance of a young girl, Evie, and her best friend, Lizzie, who unravels the dark world of her teenage friend in pursuing the truth behind her vanishing. The thriller is written by Andy Cox and produced by Kristian Moliere.

Written by Glen Dolman, produced by Linda Micsko and directed by Hannah Hilliard, Golden People tells the story of a teenage competitive swimmer, Paris, and his attempt to distance himself from his competition-driven mother in the lead up to finals.

Jasper Jones is a coming-of-age tale based on the best-selling novel by Craig Silvey, adapted by Shaun Grant, produced by Vincent Sheehan and David Jowsey, and directed by Rachel Perkins.

In Lucid, a dream programmer inadvertently gets trapped in a client’s dream and must find a way out to save the woman he secretly loves. The writer is Philip Tarl Denson and the producer is Raquelle David.

Palm Beach is a dramatic comedy by writer Joanna Murray-Smith and producers Bryan Brown and Deb Balderstone.

Writer Ross Grayson Bell, producer Heather Ogilvie and director Megan Simpson-Huberman will finalise work on Salvation Creek, a drama about a high-flying magazine editor who believes she is coping well with grief until one day she cannot get out of bed and discovers at times salvation can be a place of beauty.

Based on the stage play and developed for screen by Kate Mulvany with producer Nicole O’Donohue, The Seed is a biopic about a young Australian woman who accompanies her Vietnam veteran father overseas to meet her grandfather, only to discover a garden of buried family secrets.

In Snot and Bob’s Holiday, through a series of comic adventures two criminal brothers set out to rescue the kidnapped child of the girl of their dreams, from writer John Doyle and producer Jodi Matterson. "It is a great project and totally in John's comic / unique character wheelhouse," Jodi says. "We will be looking for potential directors / cast once John completes this draft in October."

Writer Tom Holloway, producer Kristina Ceyton and director Jonathan auf der Heide are collaborating on This Dark Wood, the tale of a young couple, recovering from losing their child, who move to Tasmania only to find the Tasmanian Devil facial tumour disease has progressed to affect humans.


Genre Comedy, Drama
Producers Louise Smith, Kevin Loader, Rachel Griffiths
Writer/Director Rachel Griffiths
Genre Thriller
Producer Polly Staniford
Executive Producer Angie Fielder
Director Cate Shortland
Writer Shaun Grant
Synopsis A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.
Genre Family
Producers Melanie Coombs, Mish Armstrong, Alicia Brown
Executive Producer Jonathan Page
Writer Sofya Gollan
Synopsis The Bunyip emerges from a waterhole not knowing who he is, what he is or how he came to be. “Who am I?” he asks the Platypus, Kangaroo and Emu. Only little Spinifex Hopping Mouse Poppy is brave enough to journey with him to find out. Based on the classic children’s book.
Genre Comedy, Musical
Producer Lee Matthews
Executive Producer Shaun Miller
Writer Neil Triffett
Synopsis Ethan, an Emo kid who hates almost everything, falls in love with Trinity, a good Christian girl with a passion for life and her Lord Jesus Christ.
Genre Comedy, Drama
Producers Julie Ryan, Lisa Hoppe
Director Martha Goddard
Writer Lisa Hoppe
Synopsis Married for 40 years, conservative Mary and Ray Podger find themselves in Mexico on the biggest adventure of their lives, struggling to renegotiate the terms of their love in a distant land.
Genre Thriller
Producer Kristian Moliere
Writer Andy Cox
Synopsis When Lizzie’s best friend, Evie, disappears, Lizzie takes up her own pursuit of the truth pushing herself into the dark centre of Evie’s teenage world, uncovering secret after secret until she begins to wonder whether she really knew her friend at all.
Genre Comedy, Drama
Producer Linda Micsko
Director Hannah Hilliard
Writer Glen Dolman
Synopsis Sixteen-year-old competitive swimmer, Paris, attempts to break away from the all-consuming control of his winning-obsessed mother, Laura, in the lead up to the national championships.
Genre Coming of Age
Producers Vincent Sheehan, David Jowsey
Executive Producers Liz Watts, Rebecca O’Brien
Director Rachel Perkins
Writer Shaun Grant
Synopsis Based on the best-selling novel by Craig Silvey.
Genre Comedy, Science Fiction
Producer Raquelle David
Executive Producer Su Armstrong
Writer Philip Tarl Denson
Synopsis When an introverted dream programmer discovers he is trapped in a client’s dream, he must find a way out and save the woman he secretly loves.
Genre Drama
Producers Tim Maddocks, Liz Burton, Serhat Caradee
Executive Producer David Jowsey
Writer/Director Serhat Caradee
Synopsis A group of young Middle Eastern men kidnap the daughter of a wealthy Sydney family, intent on using her as a bargaining tool in a global political game.
Genre Biopic
Producers Todd Fellman, Lance Kelleher
Director Kim Mordaunt
Writer Andy Cox
Genre Dramatic Comedy
Producers Bryan Brown, Deb Balderstone
Writer Joanna Murray-Smith
Genre Action Adventure
Producers David Taft, Michael Harvey
Writer Michael Harvey
Synopsis Four C14th knights are resurrected in C21st UK, on a quest to protect the Holy Grail from international criminals led by a medieval enchantress.
Genre Drama
Producer Heather Ogilvie
Director Megan Simpson-Huberman
Writer Ross Grayson Bell
Synopsis A high-flying magazine editor thinks she’s coping brilliantly with grief until the day she can’t get out of bed. Sometimes salvation turns out to be a place of unexpected beauty.
Genre Comedy
Producer Matthew Dabner
Writer Heath Davis
Synopsis The carefree lifestyle of a party-loving Aussie ski instructor is challenged when he arrives in Canada ready for the new snow season only to be confronted by the son he never knew he had.
Genre Biopic
Producer Nicole O’Donohue
Writer Kate Mulvany
Synopsis Based on a real-life story, a young Australian woman accompanies her Vietnam veteran father on an overseas trip to meet her grandfather, only to discover a garden of long-buried familial secrets. Based on the stage play by Kate Mulvany.
Genre Crime
Producer Jodi Matterson
Writer John Doyle
Synopsis Through a series of comic adventures, two orphaned criminal brothers rescue their dream girl’s kidnapped child.
Genre Horror, Thriller
Producer Kristina Ceyton
Director Jonathan auf der Heide
Writer Tom Holloway
Synopsis Recovering from the loss of their child, a young couple move to remote Tasmania to discover that the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease has jumped species and threatens the survival of the human race.


Director Nicholas Verso (The Last Time I Saw Richard – 2014 AACTA Award winner for Best Short Film) will be supported for professional development through the Director’s Acclaim fund.
Producer Alexandra Blue will spend six months in London working with the development and acquisitions team at Element Pictures (The Guard, Shadow Dancer, Omagh).
Producer Leah James will spend six months in London at Working Title Films (Les Misérables, About a Boy, Senna) working across their development and production slate.
Producer Jennifer Jones will spend four months at Melbourne-based Matchbox Pictures (The Slap, Cut Snake, Underground: The Julian Assange Story) across their development and production slate.